- 3 Tbsp (75 g) tamarind paste 3/4 cup (180 mL) boiling water 6 cups (1.5 L) water
- 3 Tbsp (45 mL) fish sauce
- 11/4 lb (560 g) tilapia fillets (or another
- firm-fleshed fish)
- 1/4 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters 8 to 10 fresh okra, sliced
- 1 stalk taro, peeled and sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 11/2 cups (150 g) bean sprouts
- 1 bunch rice paddy herbs, coarsely chopped 1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped Fried onions or garlic, to taste
- Bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced, for serving Fish sauce dressing, for serving (p. 23)
- Spoon the tamarind paste into a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Pour the 6 cups (1.5 L) water into a stockpot, then add the fish sauce.
- Pour the tamarind paste and water mixture through a sieve into the stockpot. With a spoon, press down on the tamarind flesh to extract as much pulp as possible. Discard the seeds and residual pulp.
- Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Add the fish fillets to the broth and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the fish and reserve.
- Slice the pineapple lengthwise, then cut each piece into 1/2-inch (1.2 cm) thick slices.
- Add the pineapple and tomatoes to the broth and bring back to a boil.
- Add the okra and taro, lightly season with salt and pepper, and keep cooking for 2 minutes.
- Add the fish back to the pot, then stir in the bean sprouts, rice paddy herbs and cilantro. Bring back to a simmer, then remove from heat.
- Serve piping hot, sprinkled with fried onions or garlic, with bowls of bird’s eye chili and fish sauce dressing to dip the fish in.
- The longer you let the flavours infuse, the better the soup is. You can prepare it hours in advance and reheat it when you’re ready to serve.
- Garnish with reserved cilantro and green onions just before serving.